Researchers from the University of Stirling will present a series of free lectures on environmental history in the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling from Thursday 2 February 2012.
Environmental history is an unusual mix of science and history which combines the skills of the University’s Divisions of History and Politics and of Biological and Environmental Sciences to create the Centre for Environmental History and Policy.
Researchers there have adopted a unique interdisciplinary approach that combines the arts and the sciences to advance knowledge and understanding of the spaces and places in which we live, work and play.
Dr Catherine Mills, Lecturer in History at the University, says: “Stirling is one of the few universities in the UK to take this unique interdisciplinary approach, which combines science and the arts to assist understanding of the environment in which we live”.
Environmental history is the study of changes over time that have resulted from society’s complex relationship with nature. The environment is one of the most pressing concerns of the 21st century and this long term perspective on change is key to current debates.
Dr Mills continues: “Environmental history allows us to gain a long term perspective on environmental change, which is useful in helping to understand and deal with contemporary issues.
“This can help us, for example, to understand the relationship between industrial pollution and health. In my presentation, Mining, Pollution and Health in Tyndrum from 1730 to 2000, I will demonstrate how we can use science to extract the information held in the soil to help us understand how much the workforce was exposed to pollution in the past and how we can better manage contaminated land in the future.”
The series of six lectures, Landscape Encounters: Exploring Environmental Histories of Scotland and Beyond, will be held in the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling from 2 February.